Every year we start our holiday shopping earlier than we probably should because of the ever famous Black Friday. With this famous holiday to the deal seeking consumer that occurs the first Friday after the American Thanksgiving (this year on November 27), we swarm the stores like birds being fed on a sandy beach.

People begin running to stores before they even open their doors on Friday morning, and continue to show up until closing. Fights do break out for the best items, and stores make more money than any other time of the year. People become so disoriented when they enter the store, that they end up wanting and buying everything that is at a great price, and then can and most likely will regret those extra purchases later on.

The best way to deal with Black Friday is to go in with a plan! Sit down a night or two ahead of time and figure out exactly how it is you will and want to deal with this crazy day.

1. Do your homework

The hustle and bustle of Black Friday can be thrilling, crazy, chaotic, and a game for some. Standing in line, fighting for the last item on the shelf, and searching for parking just to end up leaving your car on the grass next to another car also to lazy to look for a spot in the crazy zoo that is the parking lott.

However, before you head out into this mayhem you should know where to start, where to go, and what items are worth your time. Find out what’s on sale and where the best price is and plan your day accordingly. A great place to start this research is on www.kiwinano.ca – a price matching website that will help you find where the lowest prices are and if you can get a bigger discount on top of the original sale price. Once you are in the stores, another option would be to use a phone application like the one Kiwinano offers to price match or price compare in store while you’re on the move. Many stores will be offering price matching on certain items so this can save you the time of moving from store to store to receive that great deal!

If you go in without any research on the products or best places to buy, you may fall victim to the black Friday frenzy getting duped with less than impressive “sale” items or impulse buys.


2. Make a list (and stick to it)

The chaos that is Black Friday shopping without a list can lead to buying more than you ever expected. Credit Card Bills will be high, and most of the items should have been avoided. It is always best to figure out what you need to buy before you go out.

If you have a list on hand it will make finding your items faster, and getting you out of the store on a budget. With your list you can easily go up to an employee and ask for their help. This will cut down on wandering and seeing huge sale signs that are designed to distract you from your mission at hand.

The best way to make this list, and stick to it is to make it as realistic as possible. You most likely will not be able to buy everything on your holiday list in this one day and that is perfectly okay, there will be more sales closer to the holidays.

Sit down a day or two in advance, do your research, find the lowest prices available and plan your Black Friday the same way you would a road trip. Set up your check points of where you need to go, what you need to buy, and the fastest route home afterwards.

3. Know what to avoid

Black Friday doesn’t mean everything is on sale. A lot of items will be marked down only slightly and not worth your time going into these stores. While researching, make sure that the item you are buying is on a significant sale.

If you are going for toys, brand name electronics, or clothing, though they may be on sale the prices usually get better closer to Christmas or after Christmas.

Try price matching on www.kiwinano.com as a back up to see if you can get the items you want for cheaper on a regular day than with the craziness of Black Friday sales.

4. Leave your credit card at home

If you have done step 1 and 2 properly- doing your research and making a “to buy list”, this step should be easy enough. Once you know what you want to buy it should be fairly easy to calculate how much money it is you will be spending in total. We suggest bringing cash with you to the store (always bring a small amount more as you never know exactly how much it will come out to) to avoid impulse buying.

Black Friday becomes a dangerous day when you are standing in a store with great deals all around and you begin to grab things you never intended to buy or don’t really need. As your list already has everything you need to buy on it, those extra items are usually what you will regret the next day.

The best way to avoid going over budget or buying something you will later regret is to simply avoid plastic and take cash- stop your purchase because you don’t have the money for it on hand. If you still want this item when you’re home on a clear mind, you can always go back the next day or get it online.

5. Read the fine print

Many stores like to add in fine print into each one of its deals as a way to catch the customers. A lot of discounts may only apply after a certain amount of money is spent, or only on one style of an item and not the same item with lets say more memory space. Make sure to ask if you aren’t sure which items are on sale and which ones are not! Try not to get trapped by the fine print, and stuck in an hour long line up at the cash register just to be told your item isn’t on sale.

Once you are already with the cashier make sure to ask about exchange or return! A large portion of retailers will change their return policy for Black Friday deals so people can only exchange an item and not refund it. It is for the impulsive buyer that this change in policy can really catch you! If you are impulsive shopping as a way to get the discount, make sure you ask about their exchange/return policy because on Saturday you may start to question if that second tablet was really necessary.

6. Wait for Cyber Monday

If you are one of the very many individuals who tries to avoid the craziness of malls on a normal shopping day, Black Friday may not be the thing for you. Nevertheless we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the great deals, especially when shopping for holiday gifts for yourself or others.

Cyber Monday gives you the chance to shop the same great discounts from the comfort of your home with the extra ability to shop deals from other countries too!

If you are a Cyber Monday shopper, stay tuned for Fridays Post on how to prepare for Cyber Monday! Our Tips and Tricks will help you get the best discounts without breaking the bank since you can’t leave your credit cards behind on this day!